All the Sun For You

A mom, two boys, a husband, and a whole lot of adventure!


Advent Ornament Project – December 20

I’m failing miserably at getting daily advent projects done – but we’ve got an every-other-day average going so I’m not going to stress about it.  The kids are still having a great holiday season, so who cares – right?  HA HA!

I found these cute little marshmallow skewers on William.s-Son.oma for way too much money and figured – what the hell – let’s make them.  They were super fun and so cute!  I should have bought regular marshmallows and not the stackers, but they still worked out and the kids thought they were awesome.  Once they were done, Hottie informed me we had no milk for hot cocoa… so the boys just ate them straight-up.  HA!

Advent 20



Advent Ornament Project – December 16 and 17

It feels like I’ve been missing the holiday spirit for a long time.  That’s probably because I have been.  Ever since getting that call a week ago, it’s been hard to focus on the fun stuff.  Our Advent projects came to a halt and we went into “fix-it mode.”  Well, we couldn’t fix it but we could make things a little easier, and that’s all I can expect in such a situation.

Now that things are settling down (for us, not them), it’s time to get back into the spirit.  It feels weird, but we have to do it for the boys.  I texted Hottie yesterday and said, “the holiday season returns to our house TONIGHT.”  I picked a super easy project for yesterday because I KNEW they would LOVE it.  It involved laser-cut wood ornaments in the shapes of race cars and trucks and… markers.  Slam dunk!  I even did a set  😉

Advent 16

Tonight, we trudged forward with making paint-filled ornaments for ourselves, family members, and Hottie’s work friends.  I did this project at Matthew’s preschool Christmas party today with TWENTY kids and it went perfectly!  I planned ahead and had the drying cups with names on them ready to go, the ornament tops removed and bagged (and then taped to each cup), drying instructions written up for each child, the paints unsealed and ready for use, and Hottie employed to help me.   It was so fun having Hottie there – he is so great with kids and with two of us helping the kids pick paints, shake them, and get excited about the end result – well – it was fun!

So much fun that I brought the boys home and we got to work on the GLASS ones for ourselves and loved ones.  They had a great time making specific ones for Grandma, Grandpa, and SANTA (yes, we are leaving one out for Santa) and when Hottie’s friend’s daughter came over to hang with us for the night, we made some for her parents too.  It was seriously fun!

Advent 17




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Advent Ornament Project – December 10

It’s been a rough few days over here, (which I’ll save for a separate post after this one), and I really needed some fun today. This project, believe it or not, brought me a lot of fun!

The boys and I came home after an exhausting lunch together and got to work on a project I found today at Michaels. They cost $1.00 each, so I was super excited about them! Well… They were total failures. They look nothing like the picture and I should know by now that if it says, “glue needed” on the box, to PUT THEM BACK. The cheap materials used in these kits don’t adhere well to my favorite glue. I know this.

Take a look!


Ha ha ha! The bear ended up looking like a llama because there is NO way to glue a relatively heavy ball on the side of another ball. It doesn’t work. So… Llama. I just had to laugh at this colossal failure!

After nap/quiet time, I invited the boys to do another project and Bryson said, “no thanks, Mom. I’ll watch Justin Time.” Ok, buddy. 😁 Matthew was super excited when I showed him our do-over project – painting wooden ornaments! He was even more excited when he saw, “all of those paint brushes!”. He started with the round sponge wand and put a different colored paint circle all around the top ornament. Then, he got started on his tree. I was painting my own tree and we both just painted beside each other, I helped when he asked. He kept looking over to check out what I was doing but did his own design. It was so fun! When we got done, Matthew said, “I had fun painting with you, Mom. Thank you!”

So worth it!

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Advent Ornament Project – December 9

It was time… time to do the dreaded gingerbread house/train.  Bryson’s been dragging the box out of the pantry for over a week now, begging to, “please make the train, please!”  I’d been thinking about it since Sunday and decided to finally bite the bullet today.  I’d taken out frozen homemade soup from the freezer and knew it was going to be an easy kitchen night ahead of me – so why the heck not?

The joint project on December 3 made me realize that teamwork is not the best idea for these two boys when it comes to crafty projects – they each want to do EVERYTHING “by my-seffffff.”  Once Bryson was up from his nap, Matthew and I turned on his new favorite show for him (“Justin Time” – OMG it is so cute and we’re so happy to have it back in our daily line-up!) and quietly ran out to the kitchen.  He and I had fun constructing the train before calling Bryson in to help us decorate it.  Bryson just wanted to eat every piece of candy in front of him, and Matthew wanted to do more than I would let him.  I was in a rush because the train was not stable and it was not going to hold for long!  What that meant was, “just help me with the icing and I’ll do the rest quickly.  You can hand me the candy pieces.”  Matthew came and went but Bryson stayed the duration and was super excited to stick on the Wilton sugar figurines I’d picked up at Target for this project.  Honestly, that little Santa, snowman, penguin, elf, and reindeer took this train from being cute to being adorable!

I took a few photos (which is always when I lose my cool because they cannot seem to cooperate during photo-taking these days) and Bryson asked if he could start eating it.  DIG IN!  Within a minute, the train was down (and I caught it on video!) and Matthew came out to help eat it up  🙂

Advent 9u

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Advent Ornament Project – December 8

My goodness, it was another day in the kitchen for me.  I’ve been thinking about certain aspects of the Christmas Eve cake and decided to bite the bullet and do some more decorations for it and figure out the part that has been giving me trouble – the cabin windows.

I started with the fondant snowflakes and after cutting and embellishing all of them, realized I’d done them in the wrong color.  I was a bit frustrated, but I knew Matthew would like helping me with them so I held off on doing them in the right color until he was home.  He had a GREAT time putting the silver sugar beads in the middle of each one!

I then moved onto the cabin glass.  I was thinking I’d buy rice paper for the windows but that didn’t sound fun at all – I really want the entire cake to be edible and hand-made (aside from the twiggy tree because, just.. no!), so I searched videos on making edible glass.  I found one!  I employed the boys’ help and they helped me from start to finish.  Bryson helped stir the liquid sugar, they both watched me spread it out, and Matthew got to break it up with a knife once it was hardened.  They had a great time and I was happy to have my biggest cake problem solved.

We had so much fun with this Advent decoration that we quickly moved onto making homemade dark brown sugar cookies.  It didn’t go as well as making the cabin glass, but the cookies taste great!



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Advent Ornament Project – December 7

I had high hopes for this project, but it ended up being just me working on it.  Notice – not a child in sight.

We made two of these foam scenes for Halloween and they were ADORABLE so I thought it would be fun to make one for Christmas too.  It’s cute, but man, it’s a lot of work.  There are no real directions, just pictures of a few steps, and you have to figure out what piece is what.  I thought the boys would love peeling the stickers off the backing, but that kept Bryson busy for only a few minutes before he found deconstructing my buildings to be more fun than peeling stickers  😉  I lost Matthew immediately when he got his own supplies to make a microscope or something – I can’t remember what.  I thought they were binoculars, but I was quickly corrected and I can’t remember what the correction was.  Bad mom.  I was too busy sticking foam pieces onto foam pieces that were attached to foam pieces.  😉

I regret buying the big foam train that’s in the basement, just waiting for us to tackle it.  Maybe we’ll make the gingerbread house tomorrow… much less stressful  🙂

Advent 7


Advent Ornament Project – December 6

We had a crazy busy day – and I didn’t leave my house!  I spent the ENTIRE day in the kitchen, kicking it off with a fresh-baked coffee cake for my in-laws.  My mother-in-law LOVES coffee cake and after I took one up to her on Thanksgiving, she said that she would love to come for a visit soon at our house and just sit and eat cake and drink coffee together.  So, we did that this morning!  While they were here, she asked me how we made the paint-filled ornaments and because I knew I had a lot ahead of me today, I figured we’d repeat that ornament to show her and to check off the Advent project for the day.  😉  The boys had a great time sharing this with Grandma and Bryson’s ornament looks like it will turn out much better than the first time we did it (I put too much paint flow releaser in his the first time).  Matthew picked some questionable colors that ended up looking awesome!

After the kids went down for a nap/quiet time, I got to work on my fondant decorations for my Christmas Eve cake (I am documenting the building of that cake here).  I finished them up pretty quickly so got to work on dinner (shrimp with garlic and breadcrumbs and roasted green beans – a repeater for sure!).  Our best friend came over for dinner, as she does every Sunday, and we all put the kids to bed rather quickly so we adults could frost sugar cookies. HA!  I am a total cheater and ordered unfrosted cookies from our grocery store because I do NOT like making cut-out cookies.  I love making cakes and pies, but cookies are not my thing (they’re Hottie’s thing!) – so I buy my cookies fresh-baked by the Hy Vee bakery and naked, ready for my frosting and sprinkles.  That’s the way to do it!

A day in the kitchen, on my feet, logging 11,000 steps without a single workout or venture outside of the house.  That’s a lot of cooking!

Advent 6

Bryson’s is the green one, Matthew’s is the blue one, and mine is the gold one.